Beau­ti­ful! Ca­role King stops the show

The Maui News - - TODAY’S PEOPLE -

NEW YORK — Any­thing can hap­pen in live the­ater, and au­di­ence mem­bers see­ing “Beau­ti­ful,” the life story of Ca­role King, got a sur­prise when King ap­peared in the role of her­self to cel­e­brate the show’s fifth an­niver­sary on Broad­way.

The packed house at the Stephen Sond­heim The­atre erupted into thun­der­ous cheers and ap­plause as King ap­peared Satur­day night, sit­ting at a baby grand pi­ano and show­ing all the love in her heart as she sang “Beau­ti­ful,” the fi­nal song.

“It’s kind of mirac­u­lous that this show has lasted for five years be­cause not many do. And it’s a tes­ta­ment to, I think, peo­ple say the mu­sic . . . but the book is so good and the di­rec­tion and the light­ing and the sets. It’s re­ally a well put to­gether pro­duc­tion,” King said in an in­ter­view with The As­so­ci­ated Press af­ter the show.

She has sung on­stage dur­ing cur­tain calls dur­ing the show’s long run but has never ap­peared in the show it­self.

In the show’s fi­nal scene — set dur­ing her fa­mous 1971 Carnegie Hall con­cert — the 76-year-old King played a much younger ver­sion of her­self as she took over for Chilina Kennedy.

King and the cast then per­formed the show’s en­core num­ber, “I Feel the Earth Move,” at the cur­tain call as the au­di­ence danced and clapped along.

“Beau­ti­ful” opened on Broad­way on Jan. 13, 2014, and won the 2014 Tony Award for best ac­tress in a mu­si­cal for Jessie Mueller; the 2015 Grammy Award for best mu­si­cal the­ater al­bum; and two 2015 Olivier Awards, Bri­tain’s ver­sion of the Tonys.

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